Yesterday, whilst thinking about dinner, I knew I wanted to do something with Lamb. But I was so not in the mood for the regular stuff I do with it. I was after some serious inspiration but none of the 100′s of websites I visited gave it to me. I needed something fresh, and something I could make my own. After about an hour of Googling and searching, I gave up and started going through my cookbooks. I went through about 9 before I gave up on that idea. There was just nothing that was grabbing my attention. Out of pure desperation, I reached for the cookbook we all had to make in High School for Home Economics. Our Home Economics teacher was very strict and most of the time quite scary, but she knew how to cook! And she had so much knowledge…like that old school food knowledge that only your gran and her mother knew of. This particular teacher would make us cut and paste every single recipe we used throughout the years we had class with her. Everything from cooking with sugar, starch and gelatine had a place as well as a plethora of Mince, pastry and sauce recipes.
But funny enough, I didn’t find the inspiration I was looking for in those recipes, but rather the picture I used as a background for the start of the ‘meat’ section. I think this picture is from a VERY old copy of Marie Claire but I could be mistaken. In this picture, perfectly brown lamb chops sandwich a thick slice of lusciously red tomato, creamy white mozzarella and bright green basil. I had no recipe to work from but that picture alone, was enough for me to drool all over my high school cookbook.
This really is one of those ‘show-stopper’ dishes. People will think you are too clever, too sophisticated and SO hardworking when you bring a platter of these babies out, but little do they know that they take about 25 minutes from prep to plate. No jokes! While the lamb chops are browning, you slice the tomatoes and Mozzarella and get the basil ready. Sandwich all the ingredients together and 10 minutes in the oven, and they’re done. I served this with a big bowl of the Warm Spring Vegetable Salad and my guests all swooned. There are 2 options for holding these little stacks together, either you could do what I did (which I did just because I didn’t have the materials for the second option) and just stick a skewer through everything to hold it together, or you could use string and tie them together neatly, making them look much more professional than my cave-woman approach. But a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do.
If you are planning on serving this, this weekend and you’re out of ideas for dessert, check back in tomorrow, I’ll be posting a recipe for Chocolate Truffle Tart that will blow your hair back, and even impress your difficult mother-in-law…I promise!
12 lamb chops (I used Woolies Free Range Loin chops but you could also use the French trimmed ones, they will look prettier)
6 1cm (0.39 inches) slices of Mozzarella (about 300g (10.58 ounces))
6 1cm (0.39 inches) slices of tomato (I used 3 tomatoes)
12 fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste
- In a large frying pan, brown the lamb chops for +- 3 minutes per side.
- Place on a suitable roasting tray and season with lemon juice, salt & pepper.
- On 6 of the lamb chops, place a slice of tomato (sprinkled with some salt), a few basil leaves and finally a slice of mozzarella.
- Cover with the other 6 lamb chops to make little ‘sandwiches’ and tie together with string or stick a skewer through it.
- Place in a 180°c oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the lamb is just cooked.
- Don’t worry if the mozzarella has oozed everywhere, that adds to the yumminess. Just scoop it all up and serve like that.